Our dear friend Mahesh Mahadevan has left us as of Saturday, April 10th, hours before his 23rd birthday. Mahesh was a second year Ph.D. student in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Irvine and an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. Mahesh was a truly wonderful person with a bottomless heart, always willing to help everyone out without hesitation. He was a genius in his own right; his thirst for knowledge and willingness to share it with us has made us better individuals. We miss him terribly.
Now Mahesh has to find his way home to Cochin, Kerala in India. It is estimated that the entire process (mortuary, embalming, airfare, and funeral services) will cost at least $10,000, which, as we all know, is forbiddingly expensive. It is time for us to come together and show our support. Please help Mahesh on his journey home and beyond. We, Surabhi--the Indian Students Association at UC, Irvine--request you to donate any amount possible by clicking on this link below. All funds will be transferred to Mahesh's parents in India. In the event of surplus funds, we will act in consultation with his parents and do what seems right to them. In our efforts to be transparent, we will update this webpage everyday with donors, their contributions, and expenses. If you would rather be anonymous, please make a note in the PayPal contribution page. The funds are pouring. We are grateful. Please excuse our delay in updating the site.
If you have any questions, please contact the President of Surabhi, Nithya Sambasivan at nithyas [at] gmail [dot] com or 978-996-0231 or the Vice-President, Bharath Rajaram at rajaram [dot] bharath [at] gmail [dot] com or 281-536-3370.
Some of you have requested for additional information regarding this tragic situation. Please note that what follows is our interpretation of the events.
Mahesh always seemed cheerful and was involved in several extra-curricular activities. He had many friends, many people liked him, and all of his friends vouch for the fact that he had always seemed enthusiastic, energetic and ready to take on anything, and most importantly helpful.
Since Saturday evening (April 10th), his friends were trying to reach him in order to organize a pre-birthday celebration (his birthday was on Sunday, 11th April) for him. He was unreachable; all calls went directly to his voice mail. His friends went to his apartment but his roommate informed them that he was not home. They left a note on his door asking him to call them back or come over to a friend's apartment where he got the message.
By Sunday evening, no one had still heard back from him. Around 530 pm, his friends got together to search for him in his apartment, lab, by calling his other friends and contacts to ascertain his whereabouts. No one had heard from him since Friday. The cops were called. A missing persons report was filed in the wee hours of Sunday night/Monday morning. The search for Mahesh continued over the next three days. His family was informed, flyers were posted, a website was created, social media were used, people were notified, and non-profits were informed. On Thursday night, two hikers had found a dead body near the UCI observatory .By Friday evening, after several medical examinations and tests, it was officially confirmed that it was a case of suicide and the body was indeed that of our dear friend, Mahesh.
Mahesh, as was his nature, never wanted to burden anyone with his problems. Neither his family nor his friends had an inkling of what Mahesh was going through or how it he was handling it. All of us are completely shaken by the way things have turned out. We would appreciate if further questions are directed to the UCI Police Department at 949 824 5223 or the Indian consulate general at 415 668 0662 or 415 668 0683.
Surabhi--the Indian Students Association at University of California, Irvine
Mahesh Mahadevan, a graduate student from the University of California, Irvine has been missing from campus since Saturday 10/4/2010. Mahesh is originally from India, and was into the second year of his doctoral study at UCI. He was last sighted on Thursday midnight at a friend's place, and the last contact via phone at 5:00 PM on Friday (4/9). He has since been missing. Mahesh is 5ft 7 inches tall and is slimly built. He has dark hair, and is possibly wearing shorts and a T-Shirt. His photos are attached with this mail. If anybody has seen him on Friday (Apr 9th) or later, please call the UCI police department at 949-824-5222